It’s The Climb: Why CRE Women Are Getting Stuck On The Way Up And What The Industry Can Do About It

The commercial real estate industry seemed to be making some strides in reversing its reputation as an unwelcoming boys club over the past few years, with the number of women ticking slowly upward in C-suites and boardrooms.

But dig a bit deeper, and it becomes apparent that progress on paper could also be paper thin in an industry where a step forward for some has sometimes meant two steps back for others.

That was the overwhelming consensus of the nearly 20 women interviewed by Bisnow’s Olivia Lueckemeyer, Taylor Driscoll and Bianca Barragán for this series on CRE women in the workforce — and the majority of the more than 180 respondents to our reader survey, which revealed that more than half of industry women believe they are missing out on opportunities right now and 71% reporting they have at least once been passed up for raises, promotions and key assignments for gender-based reasons.

Bisnow’s two-part series delves into a little-covered crisis impacting the careers of women in the early and middle stages of their careers, those who are eager to climb the ladder but find the first few rungs missing amid a still-male-dominated ecosystem that is stacked against mothers and other caregivers and remains rife with bias that is mostly unconscious and difficult to root out.

The result is predictable. 

— Katharine Carlon, Bisnow Central U.S. Editor

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